DBE Program Overview

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) DBE Program seeks to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs and to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly for DOT-assisted contracts. The FTA Office of Civil Rights is responsible for monitoring FTA recipients’ DBE programs …

Congressional subcommittee looks into why $66B of infrastructure funds won’t target minority contractors

The Federal Railroad Administration, unlike DOT, doesn’t have an established program to award contracts to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Part of the promise of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure act recently signed by President Joe Biden is that it will be inclusive of minority and women-owned businesses. For example, the act establishes a Minority Business Development Agency within the Department of Commerce …

Minority business owners say they face discrimination in rail industry

Minority- and women-owned businesses face discrimination and other hardships while trying to obtain federal passenger rail contracts, the owners of several such companies told a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Tuesday. There’s a concerted effort by large prime contractors and owners to keep Black contractors out of federally funded infrastructure and the rail industry, said Kenneth Canty, who operates …

FTA DBE Listening Session: How to Improve the DBE Program

FTA will host a listening session at 2 p.m. ET Thursday, October 14 to gather information from Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) stakeholders about how to improve the program. The session is part of an FTA initiative aimed at improving the DBE program to reduce barriers faced by women- and minority-owned small businesses in competing for FTA-funded contracts. Following an introduction …

FAA Launches New Prompt Payment Complaint Reporting Module

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 instituted a requirement for recipients to report covered prompt payment complaints to the FAA Office of Civil Rights. The FAA had temporarily set up a survey tool as a means for recipients to report complaints, but have now launched a new prompt payment complaint reporting module directly in the FAA Civil Rights Connect System. …

DBE Gross Receipts Increased to $26.9M

The US Department of Transportation issued a ruling today that increases the DBE size standard to $26.29M, effective January 13, 2021, for FTA and FHWA funded projects. The statutory gross receipts cap for certified DBEs specified in 49 CFR §26.65 is adjusted for inflation from $23.98 million to $26.29 million. This adjustment applies to the DBE program only.  If a …

Updated DBE & ACDBE Program Guidance During COVID-19

The US Department of Transportation released guidance documents addressing DBE and ACDBE program requirements during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on March 24, 2020 and April 1, 2020. This guidance was updated on November 25, 2020. The program requirements are now extended until June 30, 2021. Overall DBE Goal Methodology Public Participation – Agencies are required to include public participation …

American DBE Magazine Summer 2020 Edition

The Summer 2020 edition of American DBE magazine includes a variety of articles related to the implementation and administration of the DBE program and includes best practices and thought-provoking discourse on industry challenges. Of particular note are the following articles: Program Spotlight | Disparity Studies Provide Evidence to Confirm Contracting Inequalities: Remembering the Impact of Atlanta’s First Disparity Study on …

The Invest in America Act and its Impact on the USDOT DBE Program

Colette Holt, Colette Holt & Associates The new “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” Act (“Invest in America Act”), which replaces the FAST Act that expires September 30th, reauthorizes the USDOT DBE Program. The Act finds that while significant progress has been made, discrimination and related barriers continue to pose obstacles for minority- …

Charge to Repeal Prop 209

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition (from 1996) that prohibits state governmental institutions from considering race, gender, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education.  This legislation has been the norm for decades, however there is strong opposition to Prop 2019 that is swiftly gaining traction. California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACA 5) …